One of Life's Simple Pleasures: Homemade Bread
One day a few years ago, I wanted to see if my culinary skills were advanced enough to make homemade bread. I thought it was something I ought to do, figuring it was part of my pioneer heritage. When I think of my ancestors, for whatever reason, I imagine the women patiently kneading bread in sun-filled kitchens. And, with a recipe called “Easy Homemade Bread,” how could I go wrong?
After enough swearing to make me feel guilty about teaching my Young Women about the importance of being good examples a few weeks earlier, I put the dough out to rise. Now, I only make bread by letting my handy Kitchen Aid mixer do the initial kneading. I think my ancestors would be jealous.
So, I’ve added notes to a pretty standard bread recipe that I hope might make another first-timer’s attempt a little easier. Because really, is there anything better than warm homemade bread with butter melting on the top?
Easy homemade bread
1 package or 2 ½ t yeast
2 cups warm water (approximately 110 degrees)
5 cups all-purpose flour (usually requires more—I’ve used up to 6 ½ cups)
1 T salt
1 T sugar
5 T melted unsalted butter or any vegetable oil.
Mix warm water and yeast and set aside. Put flour, salt, and sugar in mixing bowl to mix dry ingredients. Then, add butter and yeast/water mixture. (I do this in a Kitchen Aid mixer—doing it by hand is a pain!) I mix until just combined in the mix master. Add more flour to a working surface and knead in enough flour so dough doesn’t stick to your hands (although a little will probably still stick on your hands
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl with plastic wrap covering it. Let rise for approximately 1 hour.
Take dough and knead out air on floured surface (may need to add a little more flour, but not much). Divide dough and shape into two loaves. Place each loaf in an 8 or 9 inch greased bread pan. Let rise for another hour.
Pre heat oven to 425 and put in bread. Usually cooks in about 30 minutes (but check periodically).
Let rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.